The new Fairfax cupcake bakery got the name just right. Cupcakes, actually, are all around us. Less than a year after our epic Capital Spice Cupcake Showdown, we have several cupcake newcomers in town and no end in sight. Cupcakes Actually is a welcome addition to the line up.
We stopped by this itsy bitsy bakery after a trip to Virginia wine country to see what all the fuss was about. It’s easy to figure out. This space is friendly, open, and makes sure you get down to cupcake business. There are a few stools inside if you prefer to enjoy your cupcake in the store, but welcoming patio furniture and easy to-go boxes make it a great drive by during errands or for Fairfaxers on their way home from an afternoon running errands.
I have a handicap when it comes to cupcakes. If there is a red velvet option on the menu, I am honor bound to order it. In this case it was a Simply Red – a classic red velvet with cream cheese frosting – that did me in. Despite the many appealing flavors they also had on hand (a champagne cupcake? vanilla blended with rasberry puree? Italian Stallion with traditional cannoli filling?) I had to go with the classic. It was good. Not the best I’ve ever had in my life but definitely a strong showing. The cake was rich and decadent, a nice blend of earthy chocolate and sweet sugar paired with a whipped to a frenzy cream cheese frosting.
However, the true calling card of Cupcakes Actually is the Actually Dipped variety: moist vanilla or devil’s food cupcakes topped with butter cream icing and dipped into chocolate fudge or creamy caramel. Gilding the lily? Who cares when it tastes this good. But be sure to arm yourself with a tall, cold glass of milk.